An average of one in four teens has experienced dating violence. Through partnerships with schools and local organizations, Sojourner House has been at the forefront in educating teens to recognize the warning signs of violence (like bullying) and helping them learn to peacefully manage and resolve difficult issues with peers.
Dating violence prevention and intervention services are offered in partnership with area schools and youth organizations. Along with healthy parental models, the most effective way to prevent dating violence is through early intervention and the education of young people. Education is particularly crucial in situations where a teen is exposed to victim/abuser models of relationships in their peer group or in their home. Sojourner House helps to collaboratively teach skills which are important for all young people to learn as they become more involved in various kinds of relationships within the community.
Sojourner House staff were featured on WPRI The Rhode Show in June, 2015, speaking about our prevention efforts.
In 2008, Sojourner House became one of 11 agencies across country--out of an original pool of 500 applicants--to win the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Start Strong award for $1,000,000 dollars. The Start Strong Program is the largest-ever grants program to fund the prevention of teen dating violence among 11-14 year olds. Sojourner House's Start Strong Rhode Island's innovative tools help young people, their families and their communities build healthy relationships.
Start Strong Rhode Island combines new media and grassroots organizing to end teen dating violence and promote healthy teen relationships. You can learn more about the national Start Strong initiative here.
Sojourner House is excited to start using Safe Dates, a four, six, or nine-session dating abuse prevention curriculum presented to middle-school and high-school students. This program deals with the attitudes and behaviors associated with dating abuse and violence and strives to better equip students with the skills and resources to help themselves or friends in abusive dating relationships. Safe Dates is research-based and presents strong long-term outcomes. It has been identified as a model program in the National Registry of Effective Programs (NREP) and is found to be effective in both preventing perpetration and in reducing perpetration among teens already using violence against their dates.
Safe Dates is uniques in several ways. It is not only used as a prevention tool but also as an intervention tool. It considers both boys and girls as potential perpetrators and victims of dating abuse and it includes activities that address both the victim and the perpetrator. This program is designed for general populations of adolescents (not just those at high-risk) and it is structured to reach large numbers of students.
For more information about our educational programs, contact:
Alexandra Castillo, Education & Sexual Health Coordinator